The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers released a new guidance that restores clean water protections to tributaries and wetlands that provide drinking water to millions of Americans.
Two Bush-era guidances that interpreted muddied 2001 and 2006 Supreme Court decisions had allowed certain rivers, streams, wetlands and other waters to be the dumping grounds for pollution. The following statement is from Joan Mulhern, Earthjustice Legislative Counsel:
“For nearly a decade the Clean Water Act has been broken and left thousands of streams, rivers and wetlands exposed to oil spills, fills and destruction, and other industrial discharges from polluters.
“This pollution has not only left our waters dirty, it has threatened the millions of Americans who depend on these waters for drinking. The Obama administration’s new guidance reinstates most of the protections of the Clean Water Act, although there are some important water bodies that may still be left unprotected until Congress addresses this issue. This is an important step forward to fix a Bush-era guidance that sacrificed our waters for the sake of special interests.
“This new guidance now will be subject to public comment. We know the American people want, expect, and deserve clean water for their families and communities. We hope they will speak up now to support the Obama administration’s efforts to keep our nation’s waters protected from pollution.”